FCC Makes DBS Pay Per-Sub User Fee


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The FCC has decided to charge DBS providers a regulatory fee based on a per-sub basis, as it does cable and telco MVPD's.

That came in an order released Thursday, where the FCC said in seeking comment on its proposed fees for 2015 ($339,844,000) that it had decided to add DBS to the cable and IPTV category.

The commission also asked, in a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, whether it should reduce the cable per-sub fee for 2015 to reflect that DBS has joined the group.

The American Cable Association and the National Cable & Telecommunications Association have been asking the FCC to treat DBS the same when it came to fees.

Back in September 2014, the FCC adopted a number of changes to how it collects regulatory fees ($339,844.00 for 2014) from MVPDs, broadcasters and others. As part of that, it also adopted a further notice of proposed rulemaking, the proposal being to start charging DBS operators a per-sub fee, as it does cable operators. Satellite companies now pay a per-license fee.

"This year, we begin to correct a long-time imbalance in the treatment of multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs) that exempted two of the nation’s largest MVPDs [Dish and DirecTV] from contributing to the regulatory costs of the Media Bureau because they happened to be satellite operators," said FCC commissioner Ajit Pai, adding "perhaps next year we will reexamine and revise the regulatory fees that broadcasters pay."

Not surprisingly, Dish and DirecTV had opposed the change.

Reminds me of the Japanese labor unions charging dues for robots.

Could you please verify your numbers? I can't imagine they expecting to up the revenues by a factor of 1000.

What does the "Media Bureau" have to do with DBS? These so-called "post-licensing issues" that they lord over must be substantial.
FCC to start charging satellite firms per-user regulatory fees
May 22 2015, 15:43 ET | By: Jason Aycock, SA News Editor

The FCC will charge satellite TV providers like Dish Network (NASDAQ:DISH) and DirecTV (NASDAQ:DTV) a per-subscriber fee as it does cable and telephone TV providers, it said in an order -- and it is considering lowering the fees for cable and IPTV now that satellite firms are part of the mix.
The DBS firms had been paying a per-license fee. The new per-subscriber fee looks to be $0.12/year, which would offset the fees for cable and IPTV to $0.95 from $1.01.
The fees fund the FCC operations and are based on amount of work dealing with a particular service; Dish and DirecTV argued that DBS generated "nowhere near the regulatory costs of cable." http://seekingalpha.com/news/254202...7:a0aa071ac9e7328cde01e14cda30747e#email_link